Body Sense OSU is an organization dedicated to advocating for positive body and self image. Our largest event of the year is the Columbus National Eating Disorder Awareness Walk, which brings people together every spring to inspire people to love themselves for who they are and not what their body looks like. The NEDA Walk raises money for eating disorder research and treatment and demonstrates the importance of recovery.
The truth is, everyone struggles with body image. Without really knowing it, we are trained from birth to compare ourselves to the perfect, Photoshopped images we see in magazines, in movies, and on TV. Our body image is tied to self-worth, which has a huge effect on mental and physical health. In some cases, poor body image can develop into an eating disorder.
To put it in perspective, we have some statistics about eating disorders that we would like to share:
81% of ten year olds are afraid of being fat.
Up to 62% of female college athletes suffer from disordered eating.
Anyone can develop an eating disorder. Eating disorders do not discriminate by gender, race, or age.
20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
Only one in ten people with an eating disorder seek treatment.
Eating disorder treatment is very expensive. It can cost anywhere from $500-$2000 a day. Additionally, insurance companies may not cover treatment unless a person’s eating disorder reaches a certain severity, which actually means that some people cannot afford treatment until they get even sicker. Compared to other diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and autism, eating disorder research is massively underfunded.
It is easy to trivialize eating disorders because you may not understand the seriousness of their health effects. Eating disorders can have severe physical and mental health effects, including:
Blood pressure problems
High cholesterol levels.
Type II diabetes
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Disorders
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. This is incredibly sad, but recovery from eating disorders is possible. You can help effect this change in both the Columbus community and all around the country.
The express purpose of the Columbus NEDA Walk is to support the mission of NEDA, through participant registrations and fundraising, and to raise awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment. Body Sense has put it on every year since 2011. The attendance at the walk and the total money raised has increased each year. The money raised at the walk goes to eating disorder treatment and research for prevention, better treatment techniques, and support services.
We have a number of goals for the NEDA Walk. First, we would like to raise $25,000 for NEDA and the NEDA Network Partners. Last year we raised over $20,000. With the help of the your donation, we believe we can reach this goal!
We also wish to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders in the Columbus and OSU community. We want to show that recovery is possible and inspire everyone, whether they’ve had an eating disorder or not, to love their bodies and themselves.
Every year, we are inspired by the power of the community that comes together to support those struggling with eating disorders. No matter who you are, the NEDA Walk can help you learn how to love yourself a little more. Together, we can make the Columbus area and the rest of the world a place where everyone is comfortable with their body and themselves.